Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association - Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Starting next week: Pedestrian and bike safety improvements at Union Bay Place NE & 30th Ave NE

On Monday, November 17, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will begin construction of several measures that were identified in the University Area Transportation Action Strategy to improve mobility and safety, including the following:

Union Bay Place NE
• A new paved/painted pedestrian pathway along both sides of Union Bay Place NE between NE 45th Street and 30th Avenue NE.
• A raised crosswalk at 30th Avenue NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail to alert drivers of this crossing and slow vehicle speeds.
• New sidewalks approaching this crosswalk along 30th Avenue NE between NE 50th Street and Union Bay Place NE.
• Upgraded curb ramps to be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Blakeley & 25th
Once the work above is completed (in approximately 3-4 weeks), crews will move to NE Blakeley Street and 25th Avenue NE at the Burke-Gilman Trail. Improvements at this intersection will include:
• Signal modifications for a bicycle/pedestrian phase for the south crossing on the Burke-Gilman Trail with bicycle icon signal heads, push buttons and radar detection.
• Signal modifications to accommodate a new right-turn only pocket and protected turning phase on the west side of the intersection for eastbound motorists on NE Blakeley Street. This change is designed to reduce the number of conflicts in the south crosswalk.
• Bicycle leaning rails on the Burke-Gilman Trail at both approaches to 25th Avenue NE. Leaning rails are structures that allow riders to rest a foot and have something to hold onto for balance while waiting at a traffic light and help align bike riders to one side of the trail and keep the sidewalk clear for pedestrians, making it safer for all to cross the street. To see an example of what these leaning rails will look like, visit SDOT’s project webpage.
• Upgraded curb ramps to be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

More information on the project background, funding and schedule can be found at the project webpage.

As for the construction itself, during this work you can expect:
• Lane restrictions on NE Blakeley Street, 25th Avenue NE and 30th Avenue NE
• Parking and driveway restrictions near the work areas
• Construction during normal work hours, between 7 AM and 6 PM
• Noise, dust and vibration associated with concrete removal and paving
• A temporary three-week closure of 30th Avenue NE at the Burke Gilman Trail
• Construction to be completed by early to mid-February, depending on weather

Steering wheel locks recommended for older cars, some Hondas and Subarus

Since car-related crimes have increased in the Ravenna-Bryant community, the following information, posted earlier this week on Seattle Police Department’s blog, may be helpful:

If you drive a Honda Accord, Honda Civic or Subaru Legacy—or a car that was made before 2002—there is a greater chance that auto thieves may target your car.

Auto theft remained a key topic of discussion at our SeaStat meeting yesterday. Officers and detectives are working hard to address this problem and reverse the trend.

There were 525 reported auto thefts in Seattle during the month of October and a total of 4715 through the end of October. That’s a 38 percent increase from last year during the same time period.

According to our crime data, 77 percent of cars stolen in Seattle are model year 2001 or older. The top three cars stolen in Seattle year to date are Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Subaru Legacy.

If your car was made in 2001 or older – or you drive an Accord, Civic or Legacy – please consider purchasing a steering wheel lock anti-theft device at a reduced price from the Seattle Neighborhood Group.  Follow this link for details.

Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Consider following the easy steps outlined here and reduce the likelihood that someone will steal your car.

We find 76 percent of all cars reported stolen to our department, and it takes us about 7 days on average to do so.

Chief of Police addresses auto crimes and other police issues of concern

With recent news stories about crime in north Seattle, including an increase in car prowls and thefts and a cluster of bank robberies, Ravenna-Bryant community members have had questions about policing in our neighborhoods.

During the October North Precinct Advisory Council (NPAC) meeting, Chief of Police Kathleen O’Toole addressed questions that are specific to the north end. Some of them are the same questions answered during a recent Civic Cocktail.  The video recording may be viewed here: http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=3431407.

During both the NPAC meeting and the Civic Cocktail, Chief O’Toole acknowledged that the North Precinct has been hit hardest by car-related crimes.

When discussing car prowls and police responses to 911 calls in general, Chief O’Toole said that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is taking steps to address police service.  An assessment of the 911 call center is currently being conducted to determine if calls are appropriately prioritized. How current police resources are deployed is also being assessed.  In addition, response times and staffing levels are being assessed.

During the Civic Cocktail, an audience member noted that though Seattle and Boston have similar population sizes, about 1300 police are employed in Seattle and 2000 are employed in Boston. Chief O’Toole noted that Seattle is also a safer city than Boston so while more police are needed in our city a study is being done to determine how many more police and how to best allocate them.  The mayor’s proposed budget includes funding for additional officers.

A theme that the Chief touched on throughout the Civic Cocktail was that police cannot resolve problems alone. SPD and the community need to work collaboratively. She mentioned working with City Light to increase lighting in dark areas as a way to decrease crime. (This is especially important for reducing car prowls and thefts.) She also is looking into how to increase social services and programs such as LEAD to address root causes of crime.